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Scottish tourist ‘killed by shark’ off island’s coast named

Richard Martyn Turner, 44, of Edinburgh, vanished on Saturday while snorkelling.

Tiger shark: A man is feared to have been killed. Albert Kok

Authorities have named a Scottish tourist who is believed to have been killed by a tiger shark off the coast of Reunion Island.

Richard Martyn Turner, 44, of Edinburgh, vanished on Saturday while snorkelling in Hermitage Lagoon.

Reunion Island prosecutor Eric Tuffery confirmed on Friday that a preliminary investigation shows an arm found inside a 10ft shark is Mr Turner’s.

A wedding ring believed to be Mr Turner’s was found inside the shark.

Authorities examined the shark on Wednesday.

Mr Tuffery said authorities are using other tools including DNA research to confirm their initial findings.

His remains were previously identified by his wife by his wedding ring.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are providing support to the family of a British man who died while snorkelling in La Reunion and are in contact with the local authorities.”

The shark was among several caught on Monday and Tuesday in the Indian Ocean by the Centre de Securite Requin (CSR) for research purposes.

Swimming and surfing has been banned in Reunion – a French overseas territory – since the summer of 2013.

It is only permitted in the shallow waters of the island’s lagoons, although many surfers flout the rules because of its famous waves.

French President Emmanuel Macron said last month that he would like to see water sports reintroduced by 2022, but added that he wanted “to be sure” that it would be safe to do so.

There have been two confirmed fatal shark attacks in Reunion’s waters in 2019 so far – in January, a fisherman died from his injuries after a shark tore off his leg, while a surfer was killed in May.

In February 2018, the government of the region announced that it was doubling its funding for swimming “safe zones” to £1.7m a year.


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